SuperCoach Expert Panel: Gawn, English, Grundy, Preuss, Xerri, how to handle the ruck set-up moving forward?

The SuperCoach ruck dilemma has got complex this season with the underwhelming scores of Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy combined with Tim English’s rise and the genuine alternate options.

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There’s also been the Rowan Marshall school of thought which seems to have stalled after a bright start, while Tristan Xerri’s likely pre-Round 6 DPP update to ruck status is luring in many.

The fit-again and under-priced Jarrod Witts and bargain value Braydon Preuss, fresh from his GWS debut, are worth consideration too.

So we’ve assembled a team of experts to offer up insights into how they’re handling the ruck positions in SuperCoach.

The expert panel includes SuperCoach scribe and regular top 1000 finisher Dylan Bolch, seasoned veteran The SuperCoach Bull, 2020 top 150 finisher Janath Fernando and former SC round winner and 2020 top 200 finisher Casey McDonald.

HB: Thanks everyone for joining us. Please tell us about your ruck set-up and plans?

Dylan: I picked Gawn and Grundy at the start of the season and despite their sub-par start, I will definitely hold them both. I’ve got Hayes at R3 making some cash which is nice, whilst I’ve also got Xerri at F5 who is set to gain RUC dual-position status soon.

Whilst it is certainly frustrating how Gawn and Grundy have begun their seasons, I think they can definitely turn it around and be the top two rucks again by season’s end. I will keep an eye on Preuss this weekend however, if he was to post another huge score then I may be forced into revisiting this next week. For now though, I will be holding both and backing them in.

Bull: To start season 2022, I opted with the set and forget approach, taking Gawn and Grundy. Boy is that one I’d like to forget! Gawn is spending more time forward and behind play, with Jackson stepping up and taking more ruck time off him. To avoid a plummet in cash on Gawn, I traded in English (the move also allowed me to get Cripps).

The plan was for English (at worst) to be an F6 loophole option long term. I do have concerns about Stef Martin, but it’s a week-by-week prospect for now. One game in and I’m already up a handful of points on Gawn. The trade allows me to look at my second premium ruck beside Grundy and make a call somewhere around the byes on who to grab.

Sean Darcy could be the one, but injury is always a risk. Do I trade Gawn back in when his price bottoms out? Or is there another option who we are forgetting that could surface (Reilly O’Brien, Nic Nat)? Hats off to anyone who chose Witts, English, Preuss over the top tier premos!

Janath: Personally I started with Gawn and Grundy as R1 and R2, and although I was tempted by English and Witts as downgrade options for Gawn prior to Round 3, stuck fat with Gawn. My main rationale behind this was that Gawn left a lot of points on the table in Rounds 1 and 2 courtesy of some unnecessary free kicks, as well as a number of dropped marks. Gawn showed his scoring prowess in Round 3, and although English went big, I think long term with Stefan Martin due back in post his COVID bout, that Gawn will repay his loyal SuperCoaches in the long run.

Even with Martin back, I would be ranking English ahead of Witts, mainly due to his DPP which should see him come close to being a top 6 forward, if not one. My plan is to ride through the season with Gawn and Grundy, mainly due to the fact that the cash they lose throughout the season doesn’t matter so long as they are keepers season long – also since that if I was to trade out one of them, I’d eventually want to bring them back in, which is a waste of trades, especially in a COVID-affected season. Whilst upgrading Hayes to Preuss at my R3 for some extra cash-gen post Round 4 does tempt me, I think the trade will be more important going forward.

Casey: My starting ruck set-up was Grundy/Marshall/Dixon. I am changing this set-up this week. Marshall has ended up a failure with his CBAs dropping by over half, so I’m going to move him on.

There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounds the rucks this season so I’m leaning towards this being the year to experiment. Rachele has a BE of 42 so he is the rookie that I have to sacrifice in the trade. So it’s Rachele and Marshall to Preuss R2 and English F2. Having Hugh Dixon and Hayes allows flexibility to cover Preuss if he is a late out. I am seeing the Preuss trade as a cash cow with a BE of -26 and if he maintains 100 then that’s a win. If he fails over the next few weeks then I’ll trade him after he makes some cash and flick English into R2. After watching English I feel he is a top 6 forward and potentially a top 3 or 4 ruck.

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